Football: Leftover quotables

Some of what was said after Saturday’s practice, which was open to the media:


On nose tackle Kendrick Payne:

“He’s right there in the mix to start. He’s played really, really well. He’s healthy. He was fighting injuries a lot last year.”


On whether linebacker Jarred Price can play every down:

“You’d like to grow to that. He’s a little undersized to play every down against the power run game.”


On what will be decided this spring:

“We’ll evaluate all through the spring. After spring football, we’ll take a look at what the depth chart looks like going into fall camp. There might be some battlefield promotions where guys take over, and maybe not. Maybe it’s so close that we’ll continue to wait for the fall.


On redshirt freshman cornerback Steve Williams:

“He’s a very gifted player. He’s a very good cover guy and he’s physical. He can tackle for a guy small in stature. He can really bring it.”


On the quarterbacks:

“There’s really no change. They’re all getting equal reps and doing good things. It’s not perfect by any means, but I think all of them are progressing and getting better at certain things. But there’s no real change as far as the depth is concerned.”


On converted tight end Solomona Aigamaua:

“He’s actually been a pleasant surprise. He catches the ball pretty naturally. He has a lot of pop coming off the ball. We need to let him play. He’s thinking too much right now because he’s new to the position. But once that ends, I think he’ll have more confidence and play full speed.”



 On why he’s getting more reps this spring:

“Last year, I couldn’t pick up the defense quite quick enough. Coach P, the defense he brought in is more aggressive. It’s kind of like what we ran at Blaine (College). It’s like a second nature to me right now. Right now, we’re just competing for the reps. Right now, I’m with the ones. Hopefully I can carry that over into fall camp.


On whether he can play the run:

“If we’re in the middle of the field, most of the time I play the run. I’m getting better at doing what I need to do as far as keeping outside contain. When we get in the red zone, they’ll most likely they’ll take me out.”


On when he realized the new defense might be a better fit for him:

“The first day (Pendergast) talked to us, he told us we’re going to put a lot of pressure on them. After that, I liked what I heard. I thought it might turn out all right.”



On suffering a season-ending knee injury his freshman year:
”It was real hard. I went into a slight depression. I was so excited to be out there. I had to wait a whole year and redshirt like I didn’t want to.”


On how he’s embraced Clancy Pendergast’s philosophy:

“You have no idea. It’s back to football like I learned it. I love Coach Gregory. I think the 3-4 made everybody a little more versatile with what he did.”


On the depth at nose tackle:

“Everybody wants to start, but me, Aaron Tipoti and D. Hill, every one of us could start and do just as good. We can take somebody out and put somebody in and be just as good. That’s good to have, especially on the D-line. Coach Lup likes to use a lot of guys. It pays off when you can go out and get a little rest and you don’t’ have to worry about the next guy messing up.”



 On his progress this spring:

“There are definitely some things I’d like to do better. That’s always going to be the case. Overall, I’m running the offense well. We’ve been doing a good job of getting down the field and scoring. It’s just becoming so much easier and easier.”


On the competition:

“I definitely feel like it’s mine to lose. It’s open because obviously I didn’t play as well as I should have last year.”



 On his progress this spring:

“I thought I was doing well up until Tuesday. I feel like the last two days I’ve kind of taken a step backwards. I did not have a very good practice today. It was not the way I wanted to leave for the weekend. I still have eight more practices to get better and I just have to improve every day.”


On the competition:

“I just go out there and play. That’s all I can really do. Kevin is going into his senior season. He’s started over 20 games. He has tons of experience. I’m just trying to get better. I didn’t practice very well today, but overall I’ve been making improvements. I just have to keep getting better.”

Jonathan Okanes

Jonathan Okanes is in his fourth year covering Cal's football team. Previously, he covered Cal's men's basketball team for four years. He can also be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/OkanesonCal.